Football: Taylor calls for video panel

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The Independent Online
GORDON TAYLOR, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, wants a watchdog body to sit in judgement on footballers' behaviour on the pitch. Taylor believes it is time to act after a weekend which saw Manchester United players accused of getting Derby's Stefan Schnoor sent off and West Ham's Trevor Sinclair winning a controversial penalty that helped defeat Sheffield Wednesday. Taylor called for a weekly panel of experts to view video evidence and punish players with fines or suspensions.

He said: "You've got to be realistic. These things will happen but it doesn't stop you doing all you can to impress the highest standards of fair play on players and managers."

Taylor wants a weekly fair play panel to sit in judgement on issues, including diving or over-elaborating injuries, and with the power to punish miscreants.

The Football Association, which is considering setting up a TV jury to review video evidence of controversial incidents, currently looks after all disciplinary matters but Taylor believes a collective body representing referees, players and managers makes more sense.

"Each issue has got to be proved but if there's a diving case where there has clearly been no contact made you wouldn't just want to let it lie," Taylor said. "It's only when players know there will be some redress that they will think twice about doing it.

"The panel could issue an official warning or charge a player. If he is found guilty he could face a suspension or a fine. It wouldn't clog up the disciplinary system.

"At the moment it's all down to the referee and it's not an easy job. It's not easy for a panel afterwards but there will be occasions when things are shown up clearly and something can be done."

Southampton's Marian Pahars received a yellow card for a dive on Saturday but Sinclair escaped the referee's attention and earned West Ham a valuable goal.

Taylor said: "We need to emphasise fair play and this can be built into the rules of the game so there's positive encouragement."